Tag: Festivus

Buddy’s Festivus Special: A Festivus For the Rest of Us!

“I’ve got a lot of problems with you people, and you’re gonna hear about it!”

Those words have begun the tradition of Festivus, from its inception in the household of Frank and Estelle Costanza in the 1960s to the Festivian celebrations that have spread to all corners of the globe since the holiday was popularized in a 1997 episode of Seinfeld. (The Library of Congress even has a page about it.)

Festivus is celebrated today, December 23.

As Frank Costanza once explained to Cosmo Kramer:

Frank: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born. A Festivus for the rest of us!
Kramer: That must have been some kind of doll.
Frank: She was.

Festivus!

Traditional Festivus celebrations begin with family and friends sitting down at the dinner table, but instead of saying grace and expressing thanks for the meal, the presence of loved ones and health, there’s an Airing of Grievances. In the words of Frank: “At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!”

In the spirit of tradition, we turn to Buddy to kick off our Festivian festivities:

The Airing of Grievances

festivusproblems

Buddy: ‘Thank you. I’ve got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re gonna hear about it!

Big Buddy! This is, what, the fourth Christmas in a row that I’ve asked for a Roomba? And yet if I went and snooped through your little stash of Christmas presents, would I find a Roomba? I don’t think so!

And that’s not even the worst part. You let me go without turkey for four weeks this year! Four weeks! Oh I know the excuses. ‘There’s a shortage! The country has big time logistical issues. There aren’t enough truck drivers. Transport ships are sitting off shore, waiting to dock. Store shelves are bare.’ You know what? None of those things are my problem! How could you let me go without turkey for so long?

PITB readers! I got a lot of problems with you people too, and you’re gonna hear about them! How could you allow Big Buddy to write so many posts about other cats and other things? This is my blog. The topic is supposed to be Buddy. Yet you all “lol” and “roflmao” when he writes stories about other cats. Unacceptable! And you made fun of my roar, calling it a kitten meow! I’ll have you know I strike fear into the hearts of cats and dogs alike with my roar!’

The Festivus Pole

The Festivus Pole
Frank Costanza, pictured with Cosmo Kramer, holds the Festivus Pole as he informs his son George and Jerry Seinfeld of the upcoming Festivus dinner.

Unlike the gaudy decorations of Christmas, the quintessential Festivus decoration is a simple aluminum pole with a high strength-to-weight ratio. It must not be embellished. Said Frank Costanza: “I find tinsel distracting.”

Festivus poles are wonderful decorations for households with cats. Your cat will love attacking it and knocking it over. For even more fun, wrap sisal rope around the pole to provide your cat with another vertical scratcher.

The Feats of Strength

After the traditional Festivus meal and Airing of Grievances comes the denouement of the holiday: The Feats of Strength. Festivus is not officially over until the head of the household is pinned in a wrestling match.

According to FestivusWeb, to avoid injury it’s acceptable — even encouraged — to celebrate with lower-stakes feats of strength, including arm wrestling, board games, a dance off or beer pong.

Buddy has never been defeated in the Feats of Strength, which means Festivus never really ends here. Few guests are willing to put themselves on the wrong end of Buddy’s claws.

Festivus Gift-Giving

88a38ab62aa35736f4ee473806292c8e

Festivus is an intentionally non-commercial holiday. However, Buddy reluctantly accepts gifts of turkey, Roombas, catnip, toys and boxes. For your two-legged friends, a donation to The Human Fund is a perfect Festivus gift! The Human Fund™: Money for People.

Happy Festivus!

C0VjyBLXUAAeUSI

Happy Festivus! For The Rest Of Us!

Happy Festivus, everyone!

Festivus is a holiday celebrated “as an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.”

The holiday’s traditions include a Festivus pole, which must not be decorated (“I find tinsel distracting,” Festivus creator Frank Costanza explains), a Festivus dinner which typically includes family and friends, an Airing of Grievances and the Feats of Strength. The Airing of Grievances (Buddy’s favorite part) is an after-dinner tradition in which participants go around the table and tell everyone else how disappointing they’ve been all year, while the Feats of Strength signals the end of the holiday if younger members of the family are able to pin the family patriarch.

Jerry Stiller
Jerry Stiller in 1979

Because 2020 has been such a lousy year, many people likely forgot we lost Jerry Stiller this year. Stiller famously played Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, arguably the most well-known of the many roles the 93-year-old actor took on during his long career.

It may be a small mercy, in a way, since Stiller didn’t have to witness the first socially-distanced Festivus and holiday season as the Coronavirus rages across the US this winter. (Contrary to some clown’s vandalism on Wikipedia, Stiller died of natural causes, not COVID-19.)

In the real world, Festivus was created in 1966 by the writer Daniel O’Keefe. The holiday wasn’t popularly celebrated until 1997 when O’Keefe’s son, then a writer for Seinfeld, included the now-beloved holiday in an episode of the show.

Over the next two-plus decades, Festivus has become a “real” holiday, with many people marking the occasion by getting together with friends.

festivusbud